Crunching it up

by Ryan Atkinson
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In their nearly 100 years of existence, Cheez-It crackers have taken on various flavors and sizes. From the original cheddar-based crackers to flavors like Baby Swiss, Parmesan & Garlic, and Provolone to the larger, dip-friendly Cheez-It Bigs, the snack has definitely evolved.

Now, The Kellogg Company, Battle Creek, MI, pushes the perennial favorite into a new realm. With the introduction of Cheez-It Crunch’d, the snack is making its first appearance in the chip aisle by throwing its hat into the cheese puff ring.

“We wanted to deliver the same great taste of 100% real cheese that Cheez-It fans know and love, but now baked into a new crunchable cheese puff,” the company said. “Crunch and flavor always have been key in the cracker and crisp game, and Cheez-It Crunch’d delivers both.”

Kellogg’s predicted the appeal of “firsts” will draw old and new Cheez-It fans to the product. Cheez-It Crunch’d marks the first time Cheez-It has offered a puffed snack. “It’s a new snack that covers a lot of first-evers,” the company said. “We’re leveraging this angle to encourage people to try this first-ever product in their own first-ever way.”

The new Crunch’d snack offers the same basics as the trusty original Cheez-It crackers — 100% real cheese flavor and crunch — but these are baked into a crunchable cheese puff that moves away from the cookie and cracker aisle and into the chip aisle. It is debuting in two flavors — Cheddar Cheese, likened to original Cheez-It, and Hot & Spicy, also made with 100% real cheese but with a spicy Tabasco flavor.

“We aimed to provide everything that Cheez-It fans love about the original while ramping up the crunch in a fun new way,” said Mark Miller, Kellogg’s director of marketing for the salty snack portfolio. “And we think food fans in general will like this new snack. Anybody who loves a cheesy, crunchy snack is going to love Crunch’d.”

Cheez-It Crunch’d is available in grocery and mass retail stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.98 for an 8-oz bag. The company is also offering 2-oz bags shipped in six-count cases. Each 1-oz serving of Crunch’d contains 140 Cal, 16 g carbohydrates and 2 g protein.

Kellogg’s launched an integrated marketing campaign for the new product. Television advertisements, digital executions and in-store and public relations efforts are being used to introduce Crunch’d to consumers. The company urges consumers to take to social media and share how they’re trying Crunch’d by tagging posts with #FirstEver.

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